Thank you, Jamie Fields!
Lieutenant Fields from the Fayetteville police department called me back today. She asked me to email her my detective questions, and she'll find the right detective to answer them for me. I'm so excited! Of course, I want to meet with the detective in person, because one answer might lead to another question and so forth, but if I have to conduct it via email, that's better than nothing!
She was very respectful, wanted to know what it was for, and said she'd help out. I was nervous. Had this weird fear (is it weird?) that she'd be rude and like, "We're fighting crime. We don't have time for something like this."
You other authors out there, how have you approached things like this when you need to do research? Have you ever had someone tell you no? Was it discouraging?
Of course there's the chance that I'll never hear from Lt. Fields again. And then I'm back to square one. But that hasn't happened yet. So here I am, sitting by my phone, watching and waiting!